What is the recipe for hackathon success? We think we’ve got a few pointers that might just make your hackathon experience that much better. IBM Watson on Bluemix is giving developers the competitive edge they need at these marathon coding festivals. This blog is to help hackers maximize the 24 – 36 hours of hacking time by handling logistics beforehand. A little bit of homework prior to a hackathon will allow you to hit the ground running.

Here’s a curated Watson checklist to get you started

    1. Get your IBM ID: Your time is precious at hackathons and the last thing you want to do is to spend time on registering.
      • If you already have an IBM ID, ensure your trial is not expired
      • If you are a student with an expired account, email us
    2. Familiarize yourself with IBM Bluemix: Here is a collection of short videos to get you started on Bluemix
    3. Setup a Bluemix Development Environment: There are multiple ways to work with Bluemix and we support pretty much any setup you like. Most common usage patterns are:
    4. Get your free AlchemyAPI keys
    5. Review all the Watson and AlchemyAPI services in the Bluemix catalog, and reach out to us if you have any questions
    6. Get inspired and let the community help you: See what others have done at hackathons using IBM Watson and AlchemyAPI
    7. Leverage sample code to accelerate development
    8. Leverage the great Bluemix and Watson tutorials on the developerWorks YouTube channel
    9. Having trouble with Bluemix services? Check the server and service status page for any known issues.

We hope that these tips give you an edge with your project and the hackathon. Send me your comment, feedback and any tips you may want to share with others on Twitter@salilahuja.

Join our first everWatson Hackathon on May 4th-5th focused on solving problems with cognitive computing. Register TODAY for Watson access and networking with top IBM’ers within the developer community.

9 comments on"9 Keys to Hackathon Success with IBM Watson and Alchemy API’s"

  1. hello, can we use “watson analytics” as part of the hackathon?
    i have numeric data i would like to crunch and build forecasting models from.

  2. Hi thanks for the comment. Are you thinking in addition to the Watson services on Bluemix or a hack just using Watson Analytics ?



    • From looking more into Watson Analytics / Predict, it seems to be UI driven / point and click… Looks like we need the BigR capabilities in the Hadoop suite on one of the services for more programmable analytic models. I forget the service name offhand.

    • oh, another question: what if we want to use standard R, not BigR
      and compute multiple R calculations / models in parallel. what
      is the recommended bluemix service for this? the data size we have is
      not so large, but we want to do many iterations on it.

      we were thinking of using Apache Spark / Python which seems simpler
      than R / Hadoop for what we want to do. do you have a Spark / Python service?

  3. as a follow-up, I see this announcement from one of your guys that some services will support Apache Spark, but when I go to the Bluemix dev site and search for Spark, it finds nothing.

    any hints on where this is located? I see kind of a mishmash of different sites: watson/alchemy/bluemix/bigdata…not sure what the consistency is, in terms of where to find services.


  4. Hey Bk

    I am following up on your questions with our Bigdata team. Will get back asap.



  5. To what degree is Spark (Apple) integrated?

  6. learned in 03/24/2016

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